Segments in this Video

Racial Violence in America (01:49)


Bill Moyers frames recent shootings of African-American men and boys by police in the context of segregation and slavery.

Ta-Nehisi Coates Interview (01:39)

In a May 2014 interview, Atlantic Senior Editor Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that racism is at the roots of American democracy in his article "The Case for Reparations." Moyers asks him to define white supremacy.

White Supremacy Heritage (01:13)

Coates explains that American freedoms are rooted in slavery and segregation, a legacy continuing today in mass incarceration.

Policy of Oppression (00:55)

Coates was surprised to discover direct links between modern racism and the history of white supremacy.

Racial Policy Gaps (02:03)

Coates outlines how African-Americans were originally excluded from social security benefits, causing persistent socioeconomic inequalities. Obamacare repeats the scenario.

Separate and Unequal (00:60)

Coates interviewed Clyde Ross about his family's land expropriation in Mississippi—illustrating effects of African-American disenfranchisement.

Red Lining (01:30)

Coates explains how federal housing policies discriminated against African-Americans. Ross was excluded from FHA loans when he tried to buy a home in Chicago.

Damages against African-Americans (01:40)

Coates cites wealth and incarceration gaps as traceable to racist policies. America needs to accept its moral and political role in injuring the black community.

Poverty vs. Racism (01:51)

Coates discusses how white supremacy and a social double standard affect wealthy African-Americans, including President Obama.

White Supremacy Filter (01:10)

Coates believes Americans do not talk about race in depth because it would mean admitting that our democracy is built on oppression.

Confronting National Sins (02:04)

Coates believes all Americans should examine white supremacy. He discusses why reparations would be different than Germany's apology for the Holocaust.

Reparations in Practice (01:23)

Coates calls for color blindness by being conscious of racism in policy. Obamacare is one example of healing damages done by white supremacy.

Promoting Racial Consciousness (00:59)

Coates calls for citizens and politicians to discuss white supremacy openly, and not to substitute "poverty" in policy language.

Relative Racial Progress (02:33)

Critics believe Coates should celebrate African-American equality milestones. He says the black community is still far from equal. Visit for his recent article on Ferguson.

Credits: Moyers & Company: The United States of Ferguson (01:07)

Credits: Moyers & Company: The United States of Ferguson

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Moyers & Company: The United States of Ferguson

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In the wake of decisions by grand juries in both Missouri and New York’s Staten Island not to indict white police officers in the deaths of unarmed African-Americans, this edition of Moyers & Company is an encore broadcast of Bill’s conversation earlier this year with journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor for The Atlantic, about his cover story “The Case for Reparations” about why America needs to reconcile with its racist past. Broadcast Date: December 5, 2014.

Length: 25 minutes

Item#: BVL66048

ISBN: 978-1-60057-703-1

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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